Microstegium is extremely tolerant of disturbance and can grow in a variety of conditions with little soil, including on a floating log in a flood.
Like many invasive species, Japanese stiltgrass spreads rapidly in disturbed sites. Both litter disturbance and canopy disturbances increase the spread of Japanese stiltgrass. Some disturbances, such as large storm blowdowns can cause both types of disturbance, allowing invasive species to spread rapidly.
We surveyed several flooded sites: Griffy Woods, Moores Creek floodplain, and Clark State Forest West. These sites all experienced seasonal flooding either from a creek or lake.
We also surveyed two sites with large blowdowns. Clark State Forest West was hit by a large tornado in 2004 that destroyed most of the trees in a 1 km wide swatch through the site. At Moores Creek Ridge a segment of one hillside, over 100 m wide experienced multiple tree blowdowns during a 2004 spring storm.